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Battle Creek ANG Chaplain receives award for ministry work

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jason Boyd
  • 110th Wing

DVIDS - News - Battle Creek ANG Chaplain receives award for minstry work

In some of the most troubling times of Airmen’s lives, chaplains are there to help spiritually. Whether it is while on deployments, struggling with family issues, or simply when Airmen need a listening ear, the Chaplain Corps stands ready to guide Airmen through the rough waters.

Chaplains don’t choose this work because of the recognition, but more because it’s a calling. They consider helping service members along the way to be the greatest reward. That’s why is was such a surprise for U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kurt Taylor, chaplain, 110th Wing, Battle Creek, Mich., when he received the St. Martin of Tours Medal from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).

“I’ve never been the guy who bolsters credentials, or tries to be out in front of our military ministry leadership to receive something like this.” said Taylor “In fact, in all my career, I had always considered myself to have flown under the radar with regard to my church body being in-tune to what I was doing with the Air Force.”

It is however, an honor chaplain’s to be recognized by their peers for dedicating their lives as Taylor has. He has been awarded the medal by the synod's "Ministry to the Armed Forces" office, in recognition of outstanding service to God and country.

“I’m not the one fighting the battle, but propping up the arms of those who do, so that we may be victorious,” Taylor said. “If I am receiving an award for distinguished service as a military chaplain, I’d like to think it’s because spiritually, emotionally, and encouragingly, I’ve been useful toward helping the heroes I work with to do their jobs.”

Normally there are a couple of nominations each year from the LCMS chaplain corps, which has about 150 chaplains. But very few receive one, so it is quite an honor. The criteria in addition to "outstanding service" based upon one's service record, is that one has to have reached 20 years to be eligible for consideration.

“I am honored that my church body singled me out based upon my record for special recognition, someone must have been watching.” Taylor said. “In the past, when I had seen this award given out, it was always to Lutheran chaplains that had been quite visible and well-known throughout the church. So, I was surprised and touched to be included among them.”

“In the Bible, (Exodus 17) there is the story of how the Israelites were battling the Amalekites. When Moses held his arms up, the Israelites would be winning. But when he grew tired and his arms dropped, the Israelites would begin to lose. Aaron and Hur went to Moses and held up his tired arms so that the Israelites could win again. They did this until the Amalekites were finally defeated. I have always seen my role being that of Aaron or Hur," Taylor said.